Darien's Ostberg breaks course record at Greenwich Point
How talented a runner is Alex Ostberg?
Though Ostberg admitted to "holding back quite a bit," the Darien High School senior still crossed the finish line first in Tuesday's five-team cross country meet at Greenwich Point in a course record time of 14 minutes, 46 seconds -- 54 seconds faster than the previous mark at the 2.5-mile course.
Just imagine if it was late in the season and he didn't pace himself as much.
Ostberg's sensational finish highlighted Darien's performance -- an effort that saw it continue its undefeated season with victories against Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford and Trinity Catholic. The Blue Wave's closest competitor was New Canaan, which they beat, 21-34. The Rams went 3-1 in the meet, while the Cardinals were 2-2 (defeating Stamford and Trinity Catholic).
Ostberg broke the mark set by Staples' Henry Wynne at Greenwich Point in 2012 (15:40).
"I have run this course three years in a row and I have gotten to know it pretty well," Ostberg said. "It makes me feel nostalgic. I remember sophomore year how awesome it was, so it's nice to be back here running along the beach one more time."
It has been quite a year for Ostberg. He won the 5,000 meter title at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships in Greensboro, N.C., in 14:16.61. His finish was the fastest time in the country this year and the second fastest time in the meet's history. The Gatorade Connecticut Cross Country Runner of the Year also placed third at last seasons' State Open. Currently, he's gearing up for the postseason.
"I wasn't really going for a fast time today, I was holding back quite a bit, though I kind of revved the engines up a bit on the grass," Ostberg said. "The hardest thing to do is to hold back so I can achieve more in November and December."
Armstrong Noonan of Darien was the runner-up (15:36), followed by Alex Ellsworth of New Canaan (15:49), Spencer Lyman of New Canaan (16:03), Arthur Cassidy (Darien, 16:13) and Andy Kates of Greenwich (16:16).
Kates broke a Greenwich High School course record at Greenwich Point with his impressive run.
"It was windy, but then it died down and it turned out to be a great day for racing," said Kates, a junior. "Our team came into the race prepared, so I'm not surprised that we made a strong showing at our home course. Moving forward, we are hoping to do a better job this year at the LL meet."
Junior Thomas Glover (13th) and senior Sean Clarke (15th) each finished among the top 15 for the Cardinals (8-7).
"I always look forward to running here at Tod's Point," Glover said. "I'm happy with my time (17:10), but I'm still working on improving."
"Having someone like Alex (Ostberg) on our team is incredible," said Noonan, who also broke the old course record for the three-time defending Class L champion Blue Wave (14-0). "He is an inspiration to our team. Running with him every day makes it so much better for us."
Ellsworth likes the direction his New Canaan (11-3) squad is headed.
"Last year, our best guys were juniors and this year our senior class is really stepping up," Ellsworth said. "We have high goals for states and FCIACs and we're looking forward to finishing the season strong."
Stamford coach Fred Kelley was pleased with his improving team's effort. Junior Daniel Berger placed 30th for the Black Knights, who were also paced by junior Brian Fleischer and Devon Ward.
"We had some great runs and I'm proud of our kids," Kelley said. "Sometimes, running is a hard sell. But they have all been working hard and have shown a great deal of dedication. It was nice to see their enthusiasm and excitement today."
at Greenwich Point, 2.5 miles
1. Alex Ostberg (Darien) 14:46; 2. Armstrong Noonan (Darien) 15:36; 3. Alex Ellsworth (New Canaan) 15:49; 4. Spencer Lyman (New Canaan) 16:03; 5. Arthur Cassidy (Darien) 16:13; 6. Andy Kates (Greenwich) 16:16; 7. Aidan Buck (New Canaan) 16:38; 8. James Johnson (Darien) 16:38; 9. Jack Consolini (Darien) 16:45; 10. Michael St. George (New Canaan) 16:48.